On 12 September, a court in the Russian Republic of Chechnya convicted 14 men of ‘participation in an illegal armed formation’ and ‘illegal purchase and possession of weapons’. The trial was held in secret, with relatives claiming they were promised the men would receive lighter sentences if they did not contact rights groups or the media.
A new bill on cannabis has been introduced to parliament by Georgia’s Interior Ministry which would fully legalise consumption at home while still imposing fines for the purchase and possession of the drug. The draft law, which came in response to a Constitutional Court ruling legalising cannabis use, has faced criticism from both conservatives and rights groups.
Lorry drivers in Georgia have continued to protest a new ban on importing wheat, multigrain, and corn overland after negotiations with the authorities reached a deadlock on Wednesday. The drivers have been blocking the entrance to the Revenue Service’s customs clearance zone in Tbilisi since Monday and have vowed further action if an agreement is not reached. [Read more…]
Ingushetia’s Muftiate was absent on Saturday at a conference of Muslim religious authorities from throughout the Russian North Caucasus, OC Media has learnt. While the Muftiates of all other republics attended, Ingushetia was represented by the state religious authorities, who have been in public conflict with the Mufti since 2015.
Police in Armenia raided the offices of local news site Yerevan.Today on Monday morning, according to local media. The search, which was still ongoing Monday afternoon, was related to recordings of phone conversations between two top security chiefs leaked online last week. [Read more…]
Plans to legalise the production of cannabis for export have been put on hold in Georgia after protests from the Georgian Orthodox Church. The head of the Church, Patriarch Ilia II, spoke out against producing cannabis in Georgia, warning it would spread drug addiction in the country. [Read more…]
The cancellation of a concert by rapper Egor Kreed in Daghestan over online backlash and threats has led to heated debates in local social media. A spat between Kreed and fellow rapper Timati, and Daghestani MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov has put freedom of expression and religion in Daghestan into the spotlight.
Daghestan’s minister of labour and social affairs has come under fire for failing to spend money meant to provide housing for veterans of the war in Afghanistan. At a meeting on Tuesday, Daghestan’s acting Prime Minister, Artyom Zdunov, questioned where the funds had gone. Veterans protested in August over the lack of promised housing.
More than 300 residents of the village of Samur in Daghestan’s southern Magaramkent District gathered on 7 September and demanded an end to drilling for water in the Samur Forest. Military hardware from the National Guard was brought into Samur the same day to protect the construction site of the Samur water pipeline.